The central symbol of Into Thin Air is, of course, Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. Everest is stunningly beautiful, yet also very dangerous—and Rob Hall’s clients mistakenly think that they’ll be able to enjoy Everest’s beauty while avoiding the danger. In the end, Everest symbolizes the beauty, the unpredictability, the danger, and the awesome majesty of the natural world.
Mount Everest Quotes in Into Thin Air
Four hundred vertical feet above, where the summit was still washed in bright sunlight under an immaculate cobalt sky, my compadres dallied to memorialize their arrival at the apex of the planet, unfurling flags and snapping photos, using up precious ticks of the clock. None of them imagined that a horrible ordeal was drawing nigh. Nobody suspected that by the end of that long day, every minute would matter.
This was Doug's second shot at Everest with Hall. The year before, Rob had forced him and three other clients to turn back just 330 feet below the top because the hour was late and the summit ridge was buried beneath a mound of deep, unstable snow. "The summit looked sooooo close," Doug recalled with a painful laugh. "Believe me, there hasn't been a day since that I haven't thought about it." He'd been talked into returning this year by Hall, who felt sorry that Hansen had been denied the summit and had significantly discounted Hansen's fee to entice him to give it another try.